NCAA FB

CFN: Auburn Offense

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The Skinny: Don't expect too much flash from the offense going to two-back and two tight end sets with a premium placed on a power running game. The quarterback situation is still a battle and will be all season. The running game should be outstanding making up for a passing game which will be functional at best.

Quarterbacks: The quarterback situation which was to be settled this spring, isn't. Sophomore and senior Daniel Cobb each had their good and bad moments last year and while Campbell was the better quarterback this spring, Cobb looked better in the spring game and is considered the starter ... for now. It seems to change weekly. Campbell's the better talent, but new offensive coordinator Bob Petrino will use a more conservative offense meaning the player who makes the fewer mistakes will probably get the job. Freshman Wesley Hill is also in the rotation, but he's clearly the No. 3 behind Campbell and Cobb.

Grade: B ... Campbell adds another dimension to the offense with his running ability, but Cobb has the experience and a little more poise. can't go wrong with either player and will start the season with Cobb.

Running Backs: The team received some good news and bad news this off-season losing 222-pound junior as injuries caught up to him forcing him to quit. On the positive side, all indications are that sophomore ' injured collarbone is just fine and he's looking bigger and stronger than last year when he ran for 614 yards. The Tigers are going to use more two-back sets meaning there'll be more playing time for 222-pound sophomore and 212-pound junior . Brown can play fullback in necessary, but senior will start at fullback with sophomore backing him up. Junior started at fullback last year and will see time in both the backfield and at linebacker this year.

Grade: A- ... This is a solid group of backs, but Williams has to stay healthy as he truly is the Cadillac of the backs. Look for the coaching staff to get a little creative trying several different formations and rotations. There's even a suggestion that Williams might play some receiver if the other backs get into a groove.

Receivers: The corps needs depth and production from new players, but the focus on the running game and the inclusion of two tight end sets can mask any problems. Gone are Tim Carter and who combined for 67 of the teams receptions and five of the 11 receiving touchdowns, but returning is third leading receiver who made 17 catches for 225 yards and three touchdowns at tight end. Joining him in the two tight end sets is senior who made ten grabs for 105 yards and a score. Diamond isn't as big as the 270-pound Johnson, but he could become the better receiver this year. 252-pound redshirt freshman is currently the team's No. 3 tight end, but he looked amazing this spring and could move up the charts in a real hurry Senior is the team's best receiver and will be stronger this year after having problems with an ankle injury all last year. Also back healthy is 210-pound junior who was also slowed by injuries last year. Sophomores and Joe Watkins will combine at the other receiving position. Daniels is expected to be a big-time playmaker. Junior and redshirt freshman Larry Summer will also see playing time.

Grade: B- ... The tight ends are outstanding and might end up leading the team in receptions. The jury is still out on the wide receivers, but Willis could turn into a game-breaker. 

Offensive Line: The line loses three starters including all-star Kendall Simmons. The coaches have already made several moves and expect there to be a ton more trying to find the right fit among the up-and-coming group. 338-pound junior Monreko Crittenden was moved from right tackle to right guard while 312-pound junior will move over to the right tackle position ... maybe. Pera could also play on the left side with 300-pound sophomore starting on the other side. Senior is a rock at center backed up by sophomore Danny Lindsay. 311-pound redshirt freshman was supposed to start at left guard, but he's leaving the team meaning 311-pound sophomore Nate Frech take the job.
 
Grade: B ... There's not a whole bunch of depth, but the line could turn out to be solid once the coaching staff figures out which pieces go in which places.

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